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Press Releases

Fish & Richardson Wins Major Patent Infringement Suit for Allergan, Inc. Over Leading Glaucoma Drug

August 24, 2011

Press Releases

Fish & Richardson Wins Major Patent Infringement Suit for Allergan, Inc. Over Leading Glaucoma Drug

August 24, 2011

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Marshall, TX, August 24, 2011 – Fish & Richardson has won an important Hatch-Waxman pharmaceutical litigation for client Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) in a consolidated patent infringement suit against Sandoz, Inc.; Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Alcon Research, Ltd., Alcon, Inc., and Falcon Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.; Apotex, Inc. and Apotex Corp.; and Watson Laboratories, Inc. The defendants were each seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market generic versions of Allergan’s Combigan® product, which is used for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

On August 22, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Marshall Division ruled that all four patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,030,149; 7,320,976; 7,323,463; and 7,642,258) asserted by Allergan are infringed, valid and enforceable against the defendants. The decision follows a four-day, August 2-5, 2011 bench trial on the case. A fifth defendant, Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., Inc., admitted to infringement and validity and settled with Allergan before trial.

Pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act, the FDA is required to delay approval of the five defendants proposed generic products until the last infringed patent expires in 2022, which means that Allergan’s market for Combigan® is protected for 11 more years. COMBIGAN®, which was approved by the FDA in 2007, combines two drugs (brimonidine tartrate and timolol maleate ophthalmic solution) into a more convenient one bottle dosage with lower side effects.

“This was a major victory for our client Allergan and we are very pleased with the court’s decision,” said Jonathan Singer, a principal at Fish & Richardson who heads the firm’s pharmaceutical litigation practice and served as co-lead counsel in the Allergan litigation with Fish principal Juanita Brooks. “We have been litigating this case for over two years, but the court’s decision validates Allergan’s commitment to researching new therapies,” added Brooks. “This is a victory not only for Allergan but for all companies that put their research and development dollars into developing breakthrough technology.”

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